Super Blood Moon to be visible in the UK tonight as total lunar eclipse occurs

The moon is due to turn red overnight between Sunday and Monday (May 15-16) thanks to the light being filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere. The rare event happens when the Earth’s moon is in a total lunar eclipse. It means the moon appears a reddish colour.

Owen Humphreys/PA Wire A previous lunar eclipse

The overnight total lunar eclipse is expected to begin at 3:27am on May 16 and will be the first Blood Moon of 2022. The change in the moon’s colour is due to the light being filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere, the Mirror reports.

Eclipse scientist Fred Espenak has given the moon of the night of May 15 the title of Super Moon. This is the name usually given to the point when the Moon is the closest to Earth that it will be that month. This means the moon of May 15 is actually going to be a Super Blood Moon eclipse.

It’s described as a triple whammy of incredible lunar events.

When is the total lunar eclipse?

According to Time and Date , the partial stage of the eclipse will begin at 3:27am on May 16, with the full eclipse happening just over an hour later at 4:29am.

The red hue of the Blood Moon is expected to be visible from around 4:11am.

The point of maximum eclipse is then due to take place around 40 minutes later at 5:11am.

The rare event is expected to end at 5:53am, so it’s likely going to be a long night of being up and awake for those devoted to watching the events through.

If you’re in London though, we have some bad news, because the point of the maximum eclipse is going to take place at a time when the Moon has dipped below the horizon.

Don’t fret though, because much of the run-up and the full eclipse stage should be visible – weather permitting – and there are other options available to you as well.

How can I watch the eclipse if it is cloudy?

If it is cloudy and the Moon isn’t visible, then there are still some options available to you, although these will of course be dependent on good weather at the various observation sites.

One of the best ways to catch a glimpse is through the NASA Science Live YouTube broadcast, which will kick off at 1:32am on May 16.

Describing the broadcast, NASA says: “Join NASA experts to learn about this incredible natural phenomenon, look through telescope views across the world, and hear about plans to return humans to the lunar surface with the Artemis program.”

Another option to watch the eclipse is with Slooh’s webcast , which says: “This graceful transition will take several hours as we watch our familiar Full Moon take on a ghostly character. Some call these total lunar eclipses ‘Blood Moons’, but they are usually far more subtle – shades of pink, peach, and, if we’re lucky, reds enveloping Earth’s nearest celestial neighbour.

“The Online Telescope’s experts will be on hand to explain this spectacular sight from the start of the penumbral phase, through the partial, and then the beautiful total phase that lasts for 1 hour and 19 minutes.”

If you want a third option, then head over to the video stream from Date and Time . It says: “Our live coverage is your perfect companion to this eclipse, whether it’s visible from your location or not. Follow the eclipse from start to finish with us right here!”

Reference: Nottinghamshire Live: Harry Thompson & Gemma Toulson